In between 3D graphics and motion sensor technology, it was a simple idea that will ultimately make the biggest difference in the next year of video gaming – user-generated content.

The Playstation Move, a response to the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Kinect, is pretty amazing but what Sony has done with Little Big Planet 2 will forever change the industry. And more people should have seen this coming.

The original Little Big Planet, released just last year, was the first game that allowed players to customize their experience to such a degree. Sure, we’ve always been able to create our own player in sports games and things like that, but what made LBP different was how the user could interact with the level and other users of the game. Users could customize their character, interact with levels by moving items and putting stickers on objects, and even create levels to play in. There is also an extensive online community for support, tips, tutorials, challenges, and virtually anything a LBP nut could desire. As of May, over 2 million levels were created by LBP users.

LBP2 raises the bar by introducing a competitive edge to an already revolutionary idea. Users are now able to create virtually any game they can imagine within LBP2 and compete with other users within the context of their creation. Using a similar technology that most websites are created with, gamers use a ‘builder-like’ system to create the game of their dreams – whether a racing game, a sumo-wrestling game, an astroid-esque game, etc. If you can imagine it, you can build it in LBP2. Players can then compete with other players in these games with a customized scoring system and even compare their individual statistics.

Put on your thinking caps, Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony is miles ahead of you.